The posthumous award, named after the late Congressman Tom Manton from Queens, was accepted by Kennedy on behalf of her uncle to loud applause and cheers.
Speaker Quinn, noting Senator Kennedy’s long commitment to immigration reform, said she hoped to see President Obama focus in the coming days on an immigration reform bill.
“I think we need more immigrants in New York City, more Irish immigrants, more immigrants of all kinds. We need comprehensive immigration reform that includes paths for all people, including Irish citizens who are here now in an undocumented status, to get legal status. The truth is, that’s what Tom Manton would have wanted, and that’s what Ted Kennedy would have wanted, what they both had worked their whole lives for,” said Quinn.
Meanwhile, Senator Kennedy is remembered in the Irish-American Heritage Month proclamation released by the White House after being signed by President Obama.
“During this year’s Irish-American Heritage Month, we also celebrate an extraordinary Irishman: Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Throughout his career in public service, Senator Kennedy worked tirelessly to create opportunity for all Americans. His legacy lives on in the legislation he championed, which will bolster and protect the health, education, and civil rights of Americans for generations to come,” stated the president in the proclamation.